Many Members of Transition Team Have Industry Ties
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Despite the fact that Donald Trump pledged during his candidacy to “drain the swamp” in Washington, D.C., a list of the reported members (PDF) of Trump’s transition team, compiled by Public Citizen from press reports, shows that it is chock full of industry insiders.
The names do not include the transition leadership – largely consisting of politicians, political operatives and members of Trump’s family – that was officially announced Friday.
The list includes nearly a dozen lobbyists. Vice president-elect Mike Pence reportedly late Tuesday said that the transition team would be purged of lobbyists. However, it is unclear how the edict will be applied and who will be booted off the team. Even if true, a remedy focused only on lobbyists would not address cases such as a defense contractor working on defense interests, or a lawyer for health care interests working on health care reform – as candidate Trump himself recognized. Such appointments indicate that Trump is opening the door to self-dealing.
Those on the transition team include:
- Dan DiMicco, former CEO of Nucor, a North Carolina steel company, and member of the board of Duke Energy, an electric power company. He is overseeing the transition for the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.
- Jeffrey Eisenach, who has served as a consultant for Verizon and other telecommunications companies. He is in charge of the transition for the Federal Communications Commission.
- Keith Kellogg, a retired lieutenant general listed as spearheading defense for the administration’s agency transition team. Kellogg has worked for several defense contractors and is vice president for Cubic Corporation, a defense contractor.
- David Malpass, who was the chief economist for Bear Stearns in the lead-up to that firm’s near bankruptcy in 2008. He is co-leader of the economic issues team.
- Paula Stannard, a lawyer at Alston & Bird, where she advises health care providers, health insurance companies and health plans. She is working on health care policy.
“We’re watching Trump’s greatest con ever unfolding right before our eyes,” said Public Citizen President Robert Weissman. “The candidate who ran as the outsider populist has populated his transition team with a rogues’ gallery of insiders – corporate lawyers, lobbyists, wonks from corporate-funded think tanks and corporate executives – all of whom appear bent on carrying forward an extremist corporate agenda at the expense of the American public.”
“Trump ran on draining the swamp,” said Lisa Gilbert, director of Public Citizen’s Congress Watch division. “But he’s delivering an early Christmas present to the special interest benefactors of the Washington establishment.”